How to Help Your Rescue Dog Settle In at Home

So you’re bringing a rescue dog into your family—congratulations! Not only are you gaining a furry friend, but you’re also making a difference by providing a home to a dog in need. Ideally, the transition from the rescue to your home will go smoothly, and you’ll be able to walk your new dog through the door and watch her bound around, eager to explore from the start. But some rescue dogs have been through a lot, moving between multiple owners and environments. In reality, you might walk your dog inside and only catch glimpses of fur for days as he settles in and gets comfortable in his new surroundings.

At Canna Companion, we’re dedicated to supporting the health and well-being of all pets, from puppies to geriatric cats. Helping rescue dogs get comfortable doesn’t have to be stressful for you or your new pup! We want to make sure that pet parents have the tools and information they need to keep their animals happy, so we’ve put together a guide to easing your dog into her new surroundings.

Have the Essentials Ready to Go

The last thing you want to do is leave your dog home alone immediately to run to the pet store, especially if she’s anxious. You could come home to shredded furniture, a mess on the floor, or even a hole in the wall! This is an easy problem to avoid—just make sure to stock up on the essentials before heading to the shelter or rescue. You can pick up additional supplies, like gourmet treats or specialty toys, after your canine companion is comfortable staying home alone or being around someone who isn’t you.  

If you’ve had a dog before, you likely already have most of the necessary supplies. For first-time pet owners, make sure you have these things on hand:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Leash, collar, and identification tags
  • Dog bed or designated, comfortable resting area
  • Crate (if you’re crate training)
  • Suitable food
  • Toys
  • Veterinarian’s contact information
  • Treats
  • Emergency contact information (Animal Poison Control, 24-hour veterinarian nearby, etc.)

Create Routine

The unknown can be terrifying, particularly for a dog that’s been exposed to multiple different environments and a whole cast of strangers over a short period. The solution here is to create a schedule! Set certain times for feeding, walking, play time, and downtime each day, making sure to stay consistent. If you’re not used to such a rigid schedule yourself, consider setting reminders on your phone to let you know when it’s time to switch activities. This routine will create a sense of stability, helping your dog adjust to her new life.

Give Your Dog Space

Be patient as your furry friend works to adapt to his new routine. Some dogs will be leaping onto the bed to snuggle with you on their first day in their new home, but others might need some time to adjust—to you and any other humans or animals in the house, as well as to a new diet and environment. This process can take weeks or even months, so make sure you give your pup everything he needs to settle into his new pack and home. Provide a quiet, comfortable spot where your dog can go to feel safe, away from overwhelming noise and stimuli. It’s normal for your rescue pup to be skittish and wary at first, but with time and plenty of respect for his space, his true personality will start to shine through!

Show Plenty of Affection

That being said, be sure to make the most of the moments when you see your dog: encourage her to spend more time around you and continue to get comfortable in your home. You don’t have to go wild with treats, but a special snack coupled with verbal praise will go a long way in creating that positive bond. This is especially true when the praise and treat accompany a physical action your dog performs that fits the new “pack rules.” That action might be learning to sit on command or simply being good when other pets or children greet her. This combination of physical action, praise, and treat is a sure way to help any new dog feel comfortable.

Manage Anxiety

If your rescue dog is prone to anxiety, settling into a new environment may take him longer than most dogs—especially if you’re gone for long portions of the day without the ability to keep an eye on him. Certain situations, like thunderstorms, travel, or even you leaving for work can cause a stress response in your dog, leading to destructive behaviors. You may want to look into supplements for rescue dogs that can ease your dog’s nervousness. Canna Companion has created a high-quality hemp supplement that, when administered regularly, can help your dog relax when faced with these stressors. Just be sure to speak with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet!

Support Your Pet’s Well-Being with Canna Companion

Our passion for pets runs deep here at Canna Companion—so deep that it led us to develop a perfectly balanced, hemp-based formula that allows cats and dogs to enjoy the many supportive benefits of the cannabis plant. If your rescue dog needs a little extra help adjusting to your home, we’ve got you covered with support for his or her immune system, joint function, demeanor and more. Reach out today to learn more or schedule a complimentary consultation with a licensed veterinarian.